She wears her hair in a short bob, drapes herself in predictable chiffon sarees and adorns her neck with pearls that defy her age. Born to the royal family of Bikaner, Princess Rajyashree Kumari is the daughter of Maharaja Karni Singh and Maharani Sushila Kumari. “The life of a princess is no different from that of any busy working woman,” says the princess. A recipient of the Arjuna award for shooting at the age of 16, she transitions comfortably between the different facets of her personality. Besides sports, travelling and writing, the Rajasthani princess is involved with a variety of trusts and projects related to charity and historical preservation. “My job as the CEO of the many trusts in Bikaner is to ensure their smooth functioning; oversee their projects and make sure that charitable disbursements are made according to the wishes of my late father,” she informs us.
A luxe life
When it comes to living life to the fullest, not many can surpass the ingenuity of Indian royalty. They are known to be patrons of luxury. “Luxury is not simply to be found in objects. It defines personal choices and the ability to make them freely. It also means having an aesthetically pleasing home, devoid of clutter and a beautiful garden, in which one can connect with nature, contemplate and revitalise the senses,” says the princess. Her most prized possession is the foundation of love, care and confidence, which her father laid down for her. “It has enabled me to live my life on my own terms and make my own choices. It has bestowed freedom and confidence, which I prize above all riches,” says Rajyashree who has authored two books, The Lallgarh Palace-Home of the Maharajas of Bikaner and The Maharajas of Bikaner.
Royal families are known for their love forbeauty and style, which is evident from the bespoke orders they place with jewellery houses like Cartier and Van Cleef. But the princess roots for Indian craftsmanship. “The Gem Palace in Jaipur is my favourite jewellery emporium. They never cease to surprise me with the rich variety of jewellery they have; it’s like being a kid in a candy store, you cannot leave with just one item! It’s a treasure trove of local craftsmanship, intriguing novel pieces and bedazzling jewels.” Besides the heirloom pieces that were gifted to her, by her parents, at the time of her wedding, she treasures some of her inherited jewellery pieces.
Rajyashree’s personal favourite is a pair of diamond studs that belonged to her paternal grandmother, Rajmata Sudershna Kumari of Bikaner. “They are simple, yet classic pieces that transform themselves from day to evening jewellery effortlessly,” she adds.
The word ‘royalty’ is almost always synonymous to ‘a penchant for art’. “My grandfather Maharaja Sadul Singh and my great grandfather Maharaja Ganga Singh were prolific collectors of art. I am fortunate enough to have inherited from them. I love wildlife in all its forms; in the past few years I’ve managed to enlarge my collection with several water colours, oils and sculptures of animals and birds,” she shares. Offering us a glimpse of her royal accoutrements, the princess mentions that Rolex is her favourite brand of watch, and Tom Ford and Hermes are her preferred fragrances.
Rajyashree loves the vibrancy of Bangkok—it’s food, culture and warm locals. She finds peace and pleasure in gardening. “I have a lovely garden in my home in Bikaner and I spend hours in it. It is therapeutic,” says the princess who loves to walk around in Europe with absolute freedom and in total anonymity.